There was no love lost between my late father and I in the beginning. His tough love led me to believe he was a bully and an overbearing old-skool parent. However that changed some 30yrs ago.
For the past twelve years before he passed on in my house in 2014, I brought my parents from Oguta in their retirement to live with me in my Abuja residence. To look after them, love, care and protect them in their old age. Sometimes I feel I was making restitution for all my rascality and the high blood pressure I might have caused them in my teenage years. Oh Yeah! I was a hand full.
The time we spent in my house were great years of great bonding between father and son. With hindsight I prefer to interpret that singular decision to bring them to live with me, as the most profound thing I ever did in my life. Through the constant casual discussions we had, engaging him at different levels of intellectual and interactive intercourse, I became very curious about life. He reawakened in me a deeper meaning to life, the realisation of my purpose on earth, the reinforcement of the strong values he engraved in my DNA. And above all, I learnt the value of contentment and humility from my Guru.
Not a lot of us are blessed with parents who make strong impact on our lives and shape our mindset. For this I am grateful to God. I feel blessed. I was raised on an overdose of strong morals, value, integrity, spirituality. It was pounded into my skull that a good name is worth more than all the billions in the bank. As a former Principal in his younger days, my father was a natural born teacher. Always wanting to share knowledge, so full of wits and wisdom. It was his love of wisdom that made me fall in love with him.
My father thought me Charles Chukwuemeke Oputa to lead a good moral life, to be mindful and aware of my thoughts and action and to keep developing wisdom and understanding in any situation I find myself.
We talked about the apparent injustices and inequalities that abound in Nigeria and around the world, and he kept downloading to me all the code of practice or way of life that leads to true happiness. One of his teachings was that wealth does not guarantee happiness and that wealth is impermanent. That in every country people suffer whether rich or poor. But those who seek to understand the true meaning of life can find true happiness.
As we both came into the light; understanding our individual gifts from God, he talked about me with Pride. About my tenacity, consistency, focus, belief in self, and in my ability to be who so ever I want to be in a conservative environment.
What’s the point in all of this?
It is really not where we’re coming from that counts but where we are heading to. There is more to life than gold and silver. If you don’t have the kinda friendship I shared with my father and you have children, let this be your opportunity to draw them closer and nurture them with the right value and character. It is not the material things you leave for your children that counts, but the things you teach them. I thank God that my pop passed on to me billions in value and spirituality. Can you feel me?